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Dec 7 2016

Meet Anita Hughes!

by Jencey G

I have had the opportunity to get to know Anita Hughes through her bookshughes-1135 and my personal blog Writer’s Corner.  She is debuting with us at DeKalb County Public Library with her book Christmas in Paris.  Anita is stopping by so that our readers here could have an opportunity to get to know this great author.

So Anita what are five interesting facts that readers should know about you?

I was born and raised in Sydney, Australia.

I live on the beach in Dana Point, California, and love to walk along the ocean.

I have five children! And still find time to write.

I am a huge frozen yogurt fan and have it every night for dessert.

I love 19th century British literature: Thomas Hardy, D.H. Lawrence, George Eliot, Wilkie Collins.”


christmas-in-paris_final-cover-1Since this book is set at Christmas time what is your favorite aspect of Christmas?

My favorite thing about Christmas is that the whole family is together. The children are now old enough to buy each other presents, so it is a very festive time and everyone really enjoys it. We usually spend three full days together and walk on the beach and cook and have ping pong tournaments.”

One aspect of your writing I love is how you have your heroine set in a high position in both her career and family background. This aspect reminds me of authors such as Judith Krantz and Barbara Taylor Bradford.  How have these ladies influenced your writing?

Yes! I have read everything by Judith Krantz and many books by Barbara Taylor Bradford. I am the biggest fan of Krantz’s books and Princess Daisy and Mistral’s Daughter really influenced my writing. I have always been a huge reader and devoured all the big, glossy, blockbusters.

Do you plan to continue to use exotic locations for your settings of your future stories?

Yes, my next book, White Sand, Blue Sea, is set in St. Bart’s and comes out in April. Emerald Coast, set in Sardinia, comes out next August and there will be a Christmas book set in a gorgeous location next year too.”

Has your childhood played a part in where your stories are set?

My parents were European and as a child we traveled a lot. I also grew up with a large world view, living in Australia and being exposed to different cultures. I use a lot of the places I fell in love with as a child – Lake Como, Cannes, Rome, Paris, in my books.

How much experience do you have using libraries in the various places you live?

I adore libraries. When my children were small, we were in the library almost every afternoon. I would park them in the children’s section and read everything in the fiction section. I love our local library in Dana Point, which is a block from my house.”

What is your favorite activity to do in the library?

I like to read the first couple of pages of a dozen different fiction books. There are so many authors I am interested in, but don’t get the time to read.

Why is self-discovery so important in your novels?

As a wife and mother, I know women don’t get a lot of time for introspection. But it is important to take care of oneself at every stage in life. So I think self-discovery is very important for growth and self esteem.

Do all your novels start with the character in their lowest position to rise by the end of the novel?

I hadn’t really thought about it that way. I think they all start with the character having a dilemma. And usually in solving the dilemma, she discovers her best self along the way.

Thank you, Anita Hughes, for joining us today.  I am a fan of Anita’s work and cannot wait to see more of her books at DeKalb County Public Library.  Please check out Christmas in Paris.   If you like Anita then you might also be interested in: Elin Hilderbrand, Fannie Flagg, and JoJo Moyes.

Thank you so much for the support, Jencey! And I hope your readers enjoy my books.


Looking to unburden yourself of old electronic equipment? This Saturday, February 21, Keep DeKalb Beautiful is partnering with the DeKalb County Police Alliance to host an electronics recycling event. Click here to see a PDF version of the flyer.

The event will be held from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the DeKalb County Sanitation North Lot, located at 2315 Chamblee-Tucker Rd in the City of Chamblee. Proceeds from the event will go to support the building of the K-9 Memorial, which will be dedicated on May 15, 2015 as part of the 100 year anniversary of DeKalb County Police Services.

A variety of electronic devices will be accepted and recycled for free, including computers, cell phones, game consoles, and “anything with a cord!” Televisions are also accepted, but there will be a charge for CRT TVs & monitors, wooden consoles, and projection & plasma TVs.

They are also looking for donations of gently used shoes.

Even if you can’t make it out to this event on the 21st, DeKalb County has a couple of permanent sites for electronics recycling; click here for more information.

Want to learn more about the importance of electronics recycling? You might be interested in checking out the book High Tech Trash: Digital Devices, Hidden Toxics and Human Health by Elizabeth Grossman. You can also browse for books on recycling in general; click here to see of list of related materials.


Oct 5 2012

Building Common Ground

by Patricia D

I’m really not accustomed to having culturally important landmarks in my backyard.  We did have the home of Louis Bromfield near where I grew up,  as well as the Ohio State Reformatory, site of the films Tango & Cash (ah yes, such a great film) and the Shawshank Redemption.  OSR is no longer a maximum security prison but it is a terrifying Haunted House.  Folks come from all over the Midwest and Middle Atlantic and pay to get into the place Kurt Russell and Tim Robbins worked so hard to escape.  Even though organizers could get by with just handing over a flashlight and sending you into the abandoned cell block (no joke, that place is seriously creepy, and not in a Scooby Doo  way) they go all out with decorating, actors  and animatronics.  That,  on top of actually being in an old prison (lots of bad energy in those walls), makes for a really good show, if you’re into that sort of thing.  So that’s my hometown’s  claim to cultural significance .  I had to move to Georgia just to up the ante.  Now I can claim all sorts of things,  including the Arabia Mountain National Heritage Area, part of which is in southeastern DeKalb County.  It is one of only 49 National Heritage Areas in the United States.

There are two huge things that make Arabia Mountain so special, neither of which is that it was one of the locations for the movie Pet Sematary II.   One is the ecosystem on Arabia Mountain itself.  Animals such as lichen grasshoppers, marbled and spotted salamanders, coachwhip and hognose snakes, great- horned owls, deer and bobcats make their home on the monadnock.  It is home to the world’s largest population of  Isoetes melanospora (black spotted quillwort), a Federally protected plant.  It’s also home to the rare Small’s Stonecrop, a plant that makes a living out of almost nothing.  There are also the the less rare, but lovely,  Sunnybells, Sparkleberry, Yellow Daisy, Fringetree and Georgia Oak.

The second reason Arabia Mountain is so special is the people.  The area has been inhabited for thousands of years—Native Americans, Scots immigrants, Trappist Monks—but it is the Flat Rock community, established by freed slaves, that will be the focus of Building Common Ground: Discussions of Community, Civility and Compassion, a series of programs at the DeKalb County Public Library that will celebrate the history, diversity and preservation of the community.

Flat Rock began as a small area south of what would become I-20.  It was an agricultural community  bordered by three small slave-holding farms and grew after the  Civil War into a bustling community of churches, schools, and civic organizations.  It thrived for decades, done in finally by the Great Migration and the Great Depression.  It is also the site of one of the few intact slave cemeteries left in Georgia. Today it provides a glimpse into the lives of freed slaves and their descendants.

Building Common Ground is funded by a grant from the American Library Association and the Fetzer Institute.  DCPL’s partners include the Arabia Mountain Heritage Alliance, the Flat Rock Archives and Museum and Arabia Mountain High School.  The four programs will be hosted by the amazing staff at the Stonecrest Library. You may also listen to interviews with community members on the Building Common Ground page conducted by StoryCorps.


Mar 30 2012

Spring is Here!!

by Amanda L

The official beginning of spring started a few weeks ago and spring break is next week. What better way to celebrate but to spend some time in the great outdoors. I have written before about a variety of outdoor places  to visit and  fishing opportunities around the state. A new opportunity for day excursions and fishing is the new Georgia Go Fish Pass. This pass will allow up to six people free admittance to the Go Fish Education Center in Perry, Georgia. You may be required to show identification. The pass can be checked out from your local branch or reserved if all of the passes are in use. The pass is checked out for one week. NOTE: The center is only open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Looking for hiking opportunities around Atlanta? Of course there are the state parks around the state. Don’t forget that  you may reserve a Georgia Park pass just like you would any other material. You may check it out for seven days. The Georgia Department of Natural Resource’s website lists all of the participating parks and historic sites. Georgia Parks that are located on National Forest land are not included in this park pass.

Closer to home in DeKalb County, the Arabia Mountain Nature Preserve is another opportunity which is free. The local ranger provides interpretive hikes for free for individuals.  For more information, check out their calendar of events.

And when you’re not out in nature, why not come to some of the Library’s spring break programs? We have games, crafts, movies and more for the whole family.

The Library offers several hiking books for the Atlanta area:


Aug 24 2009

Is your food safe?

by Amanda L


Two years ago the State of Georgia saw a change in how restaurants are “graded” as far as food safety.  In some areas of the state the restaurants and the health inspectors are still trying to understand the relatively new law called the 2007 GA Food code ( Public Health Division’s Chapter 290-5-14)

How does this affect the everyday customer of the local restaurants? The scoring is different and can vary according to the various violations. Interested in what the health inspectors are looking for and how the law has changed for the employees of a restaurant? Check out this frequently asked question and answer page that the Georgia Restaurant Association created. The Georgia Divison of Public Health also has a wealth of information about food safety and code revisions.

If you want to know where your favorite restaurant or potential new restaurant falls in the scoring, the Dekalb Board of Health has a website where they post current scores. It can be found here. This site also gives information on understanding scores and a reference for violations.

So what if you’re like me and you don’t eat out too often. The library has several books about food safety that can help home cooks keep their food safe.

Food Alert!: The ultimate sourcebook for food safety


Food Safety


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Jun 29 2009

Happy Birthday Scott Candler, Sr.!

by Amanda L


Mr. Candler was born a week ago on June 23, 1887.  For those of you not native to Atlanta or DeKalb County, you may ask who was Mr. Candler? You might recognize the name of the road named after him or our Scott Candler branch.

Scott Candler was actually known as “Mr. DeKalb” and was instrumental in shaping the county as we know it.  His family, at the time of his birth, went back six generations in which there was a history of public service.  To prepare for this post, I checked out a book that we have titled, “Mr. DeKalb” by Morris Shelton.

Some of the interesting facts I discovered was that back during World War II, Candler had a county-owned cannery built for the citizens. They could bring up food that they grew and have it canned. In 1969, the County Commissioners tried to shut the cannery down but were met with an outcry from the DeKalb citizens.

[read the rest of this post…]


Mar 31 2009

Take a bite out of crime

by Heather S

crimetracThe DeKalb County Police Department’s website has an informative new feature – CRIMETRAC.  CRIMETRAC enables people to search for crimes committed in unincorporated DeKalb County.  As part of the Department’s Interactive Community Policing initiative, CRIMETRAC’s goal is to “reduce the fear of crime through better informed citizenry and improve the quality of life in DeKalb County.”

CRIMETRAC uses Google Maps and an advanced geographic engine to map reported crimes.  You can search by address or crime type, as well as limit searches to specific types of crime, time period and/or distance from an address.  The site doesn’t provide detailed information; it does offer a case number, the date and time the crime was committed, the type of crime, and the block where the crime was committed.  It’s super easy to navigate, and the graphical interface clearly shows what types of crime are happening around the county.  The information posted is also current.  There are crimes that were reported in the wee hours of this morning that are already on the website!

If you want to track crime and stay informed of what’s going on in your neighborhood, this is a great site to bookmark or set up email alerts for a specific area.


Feb 3 2009

Raise your voice

by Heather S

Burrell Ellis, DeKalb County’s new CEO, is hosting meetings at locations across the county for you to ask questions and voice concerns about the County’s budget.  Mr. Ellis’ invitation and details are below.  And, if you would like to review the budget before going to a meeting, please visit your library branch’s Reference Desk!

Dear Neighbors,
To make your priorities our county government’s priorities, one of the most important tools in our toolkit is our annual budget. This is how we pay for a county government that gets the job done for you, delivering the services you expect on time, within budget, and with a smile.
The first budget of our new administration is now out. I want to share some of the highlights with you, especially:

[read the rest of this post…]


Oct 27 2008

One More Week for Advance Voting!

by Nolan R

If you were afraid to brave the lines this past week on Memorial Drive, you still have a chance to vote early and avoid potentially long lines on election day.  You can vote in advance starting today, October 27 and ending on Friday, October 31 at several locations around DeKalb County.  Voting hours are 7:00 am to 7:00 pm.

For more information on the candidates and the issues, check out this previous post, or look here for more info on voting in DeKalb County.


Oct 7 2008

Get out and vote!

by Heather S

Hopefully, you have already registered to vote, since yesterday was the deadline for the upcoming presidential election. If you are registered to vote, remember that you can avoid the lines on November 4th by voting by absentee ballot by mail or in person, or by voting in advance.

To request an absentee ballot to vote via the mail, you can print the application online at the DeKalb County Voter Registration or the Secretary of State Elections Division’s website or stop by the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Main Office at 4380 Memorial Drive, Suite 300, Decatur, GA 30032.

To vote by absentee ballot in person, you can stop by the DeKalb County Voter Registration and Elections Main Office and vote Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 7:00 pm. 

You can vote in advance starting on October 27 and ending on October 31. You may vote Monday through Friday, 7:00 am to 7:00 pm at one of several locations around DeKalb County.

Be sure to verify your registration and locate your precinct/district information. To do this, you can enter in the necessary information at the Secretary of State’s Poll Locator website or by calling their Voter Info Line at 1-888-265-1115. You can also call the DeKalb County Precinct Info Line at 404-373-2236 or 404-298-4020, which is their office number.

For more information and library resources, check out DCPL’s subject guide on Voting.